Merge with the ongoing chorus;
Introduce the new refrain:
Jesus Christ our Lord died for us!
Magnify the Lamb once slain!
God has lifted up the faces
Of the weary, weak, and worn.
By his grace, they bear no traces
Of their death. In him, tis shorn.
Praise, oh praise his name, O people,
From this moment evermore.
Lowest valley, highest steeple –
Likewise heed the holy roar.
Who is like the Lord Almighty,
God above what eyes can see,
Never fickle, never flighty,
Constant through eternity?
(Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash)
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
I read and re-read this verse multiple times after running across it in my devotional time. I love the wording here for its poetic sound and feel. I love the imagery within the prayer. Even so, my mind kept returning to a question: What does it mean for a heart to be united?
I’m a fan of quality creepiness.
Focus me to fear your name,
Lord of glory, sacred flame.
You are good; you are not tame.
All creation is your claim.
I, mere man, before you fall,
You: eternal God of all.
Unto you I humbly call
For I know that I am small.
Source of all things pure and true,
Love and worship are my due:
All my life to honor you.
Let my words be wise and few.
Make me, Lord, to know my end.
Let me never break or bend.
Let my focus now transcend.
Help me live the words here penned.
I speak of beauty, but I feel it not;
Emotion cannot pass beyond the clot.
The intellect amasses stores of facts –
Is there any conviction in my acts?
I speak, but maybe merely for the sight.
My motivation is not love, but right.
Lord, take these stone-like aspects; make them flesh.
Remove the fallen focus and refresh
My mind and heart to know and love the truth,
And let me follow with the faith of youth.
Inhabiting eternity, yet near,
You, Lord, deserve allegiance, worship, fear.
By grace through faith, I rest in your great pow’r
And, ransomed, sing, “I need thee ev’ry hour.”
I’ve always been a bit fascinated with fear. When I was little, when the mildest frights could send me running, I still looked forward to October and to Halloween, the decorations, the costumes, and the spooky movies on the Disney channel each captivating my interest. In literature, I loved reading Edgar Allan Poe with his mastery of the macabre. Even in Batman cartoons and video games, I found myself enjoying the stories with Scarecrow more than the stories with many of the other villains. Fear, in a way, has been a lifelong interest. Continue reading
I don’t need to know everything. Continue reading
(Photo cred: Jeremy Poe)
My final destination is secured;
Tis fixed within my future by the pow’r
Sustaining all creation ev’ry hour.
And yet the days ahead appear obscured.
By pages and by principles applied,
May I perchance perceive the Father’s plan
(And thus pursue the path by strength of man
And live a life untested and untried)?
No. Faith is forged by following in fear,
Uncertain of the details of the road
Yet certain of the Master’s love and might.
Help me then, Lord, to listen and to hear.
Let me abide in thee in this abode
And learn to walk by faith and not by sight.
Let me not sit still and silent,
Let not shyness win,
Not while there is still a tyrant,
Not while there is sin.
Let not my excuses keep me
From the work ahead.
Lead me, Lord, to better share thee
With the blinded dead.
Let compassion and conviction
E’er compel my will.
Take my style of speech and diction,
With your message fill.
Let me never fall nor foment
Failure; let me please.
Let intention drive each moment.
Onward with the keys.
In high school and college, I saw a number of people set boundaries on their lives for the sake of holiness and purity. Friends of mine would declare a “Facebook fast” and would deactivate their accounts for months at a time, citing their need to strengthen a relationship with God as the motivation to abstain. Other friends would declare a year of singleness, determining not to date for twelve months in order to refocus on the Lord. Others set boundaries on existing relationships (“we will not be alone in a bedroom together”; “we will not hang out past 11:00 pm unless others are present”; “we will not kiss until marriage”). At the outset, hopes were high for the excited individuals, each one intent on drawing nearer to God. But not every promise produced the desired result, and not every pledge proved effective.